NEWS

The LG G3 is going to sport Android 5.0 Lollipop by the end of the year, according to an LG representative for the Netherlands and Belgium cited by TechTastic. He didn't give a more specific time frame, as we suspect the company is going to make an official announcement regarding its update plans. The LG G3 is probably going to be joined by the LG G Pro 2 since both are the company's flagships as of now. However, we suspect more devices will be blessed with Android 5.0 Lollipop goodness such as the LG G3 S, G3 Stylus, G2 and the mid-range L90 and L70. We don't know yet how LG plans to alter its most recent Optimus UI to better suit the new spirit of Android. The company likes to add a lot of additional features, so it'll be interesting to see how it manages to incorporate them in a hopefully clean and useful fashion. Motorola, Sony and HTC have already compiled a list of devices that are planned to receive the latest Android version....


GT Advanced Technologies, the company supplying Apple with sapphire for the Apple Watch, has announced the partnership between the two companies is over. Less than a year old, the deal drove GT Advanced to bankruptcy after the company didn't stick to the agreed timelines for sapphire production and Apple had to abandon its plans for sapphire-protected iPhones and hold back a payment of $139 million. The latest deal between the two company makes GT Advanced shut down its factories in Mesa, Arizona and Salem, Massachusetts. The company will sell its sapphire furnaces and try to repay the $439 million that Apple gave it in advance. As a result of the shutdown, approximately 650 Mesa employees have been laid off. An Apple spokeswoman had this comment to add: "Apple put a lot of effort into an ambitious new sapphire manufacturing process with GTAT which is not ready for production. We're going to continue evaluating GTAT's progress on larger sapphire boule development, as well as consider other options for the facility. We remain committed to the city and we're going to work with Mesa and Maricopa County to help the GT Advanced employees who will be impacted by this find new jobs." This may or may not have an impact on the Apple Watch launch scheduled to happen "early next year", but it certainly makes sapphire screen iPhones (or any non-Vertu phones really) unlikely for at least a couple of more years. Source |...


The Nokia Lumia brand is no more - from now on there will only be Microsoft Lumia. However the Nokia phone brand isn't completely dead, Microsoft will continue to sell current Nokia Lumia handsets and provide the support that users expect. Also, features phones like the Nokia 130 will continue to be sold, we should also see new feature phones being introduced. Tuula Rytilä, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Phones, gave an interview in which she detailed the future course of the Lumia brand. She points out that the rebranding is already underway with former Nokia-branded apps coming under the Microsoft umbrella. Similarly Nokia sites are in the process of moving to Microsoft. It's not clear when the first Microsoft Lumia device will be unveiled, "soon" is the only answer we're getting. However, unless Microsoft sneaks in an announcement just before Christmas chances are that CES in January or the MWC in February next year is when the first devices will be unveiled. Microsoft's strategy from its very inception is to put a PC on every desktop, now they will be focusing on a phone in every pocket. This comes on the back of record Lumia sales, so Microsoft has a decent chance of securing Windows Phone as the third horse in the smartphone OS...


Microsoft released its earnings report for the first quarter of the fiscal 2015. The Redmond-based tech giant took home net income $4.5 billion from $23.2 billion of revenue. The company's quarterly revenue is a drastic improvement over the $18.53 billion it achieved for the same period last year. Net income has dropped from last year's $5.24 billion due to $1.14 billion worth of restructuring expenses that stemmed from the Nokia acquisition. Microsoft sold a record 9.3 million Lumia smartphones. The number is a drastic increase over the 5.8 million units sold in the previous quarter, and more than the 8.8 million devices from the same period last year. The Lumia hardware business is responsible for $2.6 billion in revenue for the quarter. The warm reception enjoyed by the Microsoft Surface 3 Pro resulted in $908 million in revenue. The number is up a whopping 127% from the same quarter in the fiscal 2014. The gross margin from the tablet business is positive, so Redmond is making money from it. The Xbox division isn't doing too shabby either. It moved 2.4 million Xbox One and Xbox 360 consoles. You can find out Microsoft's full breakdown of its financials alongside its forward looking statements at the source link below. Source |...


LG officially announced the G3 Screen phablet. Designed for its home market, the previously leaked handset comes with LG's first application processor, which is dubbed NUCLUN. The brand new chipset features ARM big.LITTLE technology for efficient multitasking. Its octa-core setup consists of four 1.5GHz ARM Cortex A-15 cores for high performance computing and four 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A7 ones for less demanding tasks. LG's new SoC features LTE-A connectivity that supports download speeds of up to 225Mbps. LG will utilize its in-house solution in more products going forward. As its name suggests, LG G3 Screen features the same design language as the LG G3 we already know. However, the newcomer features larger 5.9" 1080p IPS display. The rest of the device's specs are rather familiar. They include 2GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage, 13MP camera with OIS+, 2.1MP front-facing unit, and 3,000mAh battery. The OS on tap is Android 4.4 KitKat. The physical measures of LG G3 Screen are 157.8x 81.8x 9.5mm, while its weight tips the scale at 182 grams. The device will be available in black or white. Source...


Google's modular smartphone effort, codenamed Project Ara, seems to be chugging along nicely ahead of its expected release in 2015. Team leader Paul Eremenko said in an interview at Purdue University that there will be a special store for Ara components, complete with recommendations and reviews. This will emulate the Google Play Store and its software sales, but for the modular hardware that will make up the Ara. He also reiterated that the Ara MDK is free and open and available to everybody. So presumably anyone could create a module, just like theoretically anyone can make an Android app. If you do that, you then put it up for sale in the Play Store - while for Ara hardware modules you'll be able to do the same, using the upcoming Ara module marketplace. This will allow module makers to sell them directly to consumers, which is apparently what Google wants. It will be interesting to see how many different modules will be dreamt up by developers, and how many the Ara module marketplace will stock when it launches. In the mobile software world, for a long time success was measured by how many apps were available for a platform. So if Project Ara wants to emulate that, then it should have a lot of modules listed in its store. Project Ara was started at Motorola, but Google kept it when it sold the phone maker to Lenovo. The base price for the modular smartphone will be around $50. Source |...


A media report from Taiwan claims Apple could be ready to pay more to Foxconn for its manufacturing services for the iPhone 6 Plus. This would hopefully have the effect of encouraging the Taiwanese company to make more iPhone 6 Plus units. Those are needed because the market demand for Apple's first phablet apparently exceeded expectations. So Apple needs some more iPhone 6 Plus inventory, and fast. Hence the presumed pay hike to Foxconn. Right now, the giant electronics manufacturer is said to earn $20 for each iPhone 6 Plus it makes. But Apple wants to increase that to $24-25. That would obviously boost Foxconn's results for the fourth quarter of this year. But some of the cash difference may make into its workers' pockets, to encourage them to produce more goods. The increased pay per iPhone might however be a limited time offer from Apple, with future levels predicted to gradually return to the original amount. Of course you should view this as nothing more than a rumor, unless it gets confirmed somehow. Source (in Chinese) |...


If you're interested in the HTC One Mini 2, but so far haven't found its color variations appealing, then this is for you. Aside from the grey and gold hues which have been available for quite a while, over in the UK Carphone Warehouse has started selling the smartphone in pink too. What's more, the pink version is exclusive to this particular retailer. It's unclear however whether this is a timed exclusivity deal which will expire at some point, or if it will last forever. Either way, if you want a pink HTC One Mini 2 right now, the only place to get it is Carphone Warehouse. The smartphone isn't priced differently for the pink hue. You can get it for free if you pick an operator's plan that is at least £20 per month. This cheapest deal is at O2, and it will net you 300 minutes, unlimited texts, and 300MB of 3G data each month. There are many more contract options to pick from, though. Alternatively, you can purchase the device outright, in SIM-free form, for £379.95. Source |...


Following a report saying the round LG G Watch R would become available for purchase in the UK as soon as tomorrow, the Korean device maker has put out a press release outlining its rollout plans for the wearable. The G Watch R is LG's second smartwatch running Android Wear, coming after the original square G Watch introduced earlier this year. LG expects the G Watch R to be up for grabs in European countries such as France, Italy, Spain, and the UK at the beginning of November. You may get it even sooner than that, at least in the UK. "Key markets" in North America, Asia, and CIS will receive the G Watch R at some point after it lands in Europe. And "in the weeks ahead" the wearable will also become available in Google's Play Store. Unfortunately these are all the details LG put forth, so we're still low on specifics. We could assume that the G Watch R will make it to quite a few markets by the end of this year. The G Watch R was announced at IFA in late August. It comes with a 1.3-inch round P-OLED touchscreen with 320x320 resolution, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset with a 1.2 GHz CPU, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of built-in storage, 9-axis sensors, a heart rate monitor, a barometer, and a 410 mAh battery. It's also dust and water resistant, being IP67...


If you want to get a smartphone that's dirt cheap but isn't dirt or filled with dirt this may just be the deal for you. UK customers are being treated to a superb promotion for the Nokia Lumia 530 - £49.95 with a prepaid SIM or even £29.95 for pay as you go users that are eligible for an upgrade. You'll need to get a £10 top-up for the SIM which puts the total price at £60. Given that most carriers give you some credit in a prepaid SIM this doesn't look half bad as a trade off. Previously the retailer's price for the Lumia 530 was £90. Carephone Warehouse boasts about an exclusive yellow option for the Nokia Lumia 530 but you can also get it in Black, Orange and Green. Other retailers are yet to catch up to the lower price, though. For the small amount of money you get a 4" 480x854 display, 4GB of storage, microSD card slot, Snapdragon 200 chipset, an FM Radio, GPS, a 1,430mAh battery and the latest Windows Phone 8.1 with Nokia's Lumia Denim package. Source |...


Huawei is transitioning to a big player with premium options and already has concrete results to show. The company has shipped 16.8 million smartphones in Q3 this year and 26% of them were mid to high-end devices. It grew 23% overall compared to last year and 18% in its home country of China. The company also showed impressive growths in developing markets (the Middle East and Africa especially, where shipments are up 322% compared to last year. The CEO is confident and makes comparisons with market-leader Samsung, which is having difficulty penetrating some developing markets where Huawei is ahead of the Koreans. The new Huawei Ascend Mate7 alone has sold one million units since its recent introduction. Its price starts at CNY 3,000 ($490) but there's a pricier version at CNY 3,700. Huawei's CEO says that until recently there was a distinct lack of domestic premium devices and CNY 3,000 was considered the upper limit of what users will buy. In response most Chinese manufacturers focused on ultra low-cost devices, which puts Huawei's 26% mid-range to high-end statistic in better perspective. Huawei will face further issues though, Chinese carriers have ended subsidies and have been lowering marketing budgets for three years running. Source 1 • Source 2 (in...


If you've been waiting for the LG G Watch R, you will finally be able to purchase one tomorrow, provided you are in the UK. The G Watch R will be available online through Clove for £224.99 (including VAT) in black color only. The LG G Watch R is the first Android Wear device with a full circular display, unlike the semicircular display on the Moto 360. Circular displays might not be the most efficient design to show information but they do make the smartwatch look more like an actual watch and the G Watch R looks almost identical to a regular watch. The price is a bit steep in the UK but it should be around $250 when it launches in the...


The LG Liger (F490L) made a bold appearance before its official announcement - complete with specs, hands-on photos and even benchmarks and chipset info. The phone will join the LG G3 family with similar looks but a bigger display (5.9") and LG's own Odin chipset. LG Liger (F490L) hands-on photos The chipset features four Cortex-A15 cores and four Cortex-A7. Initially we saw it clocked at 1GHz, now CPU-Z shows 1.2GHz as the top speed for the A15s. The app may have detected the A7 clock though, the A15 cores are allegedly clocked at 1.5GHz. More LG Liger photos As a consequence the AnTuTu 5 score is not particularly impressive, even against the Snapdragon 801-packing LG G3. Considering the 5.9" IPS screen has been dropped to 1080p resolution, the LG Liger may be more of a mid-ranger rather than a flagship phablet. Benchmarks Other specs include 2GB of RAM, 16/32GB of storage, 13MP camera (no word on OIS but laser focus is on board) and a 3,000mAh battery. It measures 157.8 x 81.8 x 9.5mm. .jrGraphContainer { background: none !important; border-bottom: 1px solid #eee !important;} ul.jrGraph { left: 56px !important; } ul.jrGraphControls { padding: 0; margin-left: -10px !important; } JRGRAPH_EXPANDABLE_VERSION = false; AnTuTu 5 Higher is better Samsung Galaxy Note 4 46824 HTC One (M8) 44020 Sony Xperia Z3 40393 LG G3 - EU version 39905 LG Liger (F490L) 25460 Thanks to hnl for sending this in! Source 1 • Source 2 • Source 3 (in...


Someone has put the Apple iPad Air 2 through GFXBench's 2.7 T-Rex and 3.0 Manhattan's onscreen and offscreen (1080p) platform and we get to ogle at the framerates posted. The results show the iPad Air 2 is just as good and even at times better than the promising Tegra K1 chip and its Kepler GPU, which was the previous graphics champ. The scores below show the iPad Air 2 beat the Tegra K1 in both offscreen tests - the same tests that are both capped at 1080p and indicate the raw power of the GPU. The onscreen tests offer less framerate because of the above-1080p native resolution of the iPad Air 2 but it still managed to pull ahead of the Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 which has the same screen resolution and Nvidia's latest chip inside. .jrGraphContainer { background: none !important; border-bottom: 1px solid #eee !important;} ul.jrGraph { left: 70px !important; } ul.jrGraphControls { padding: 0; margin-left: -10px !important; } JRGRAPH_EXPANDABLE_VERSION = false; GFX 2.7 T-Rex (1080p offscreen) Higher is better Apple iPad Air 2 72 NVIDIA Shield Tablet 65 Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 53.1 Apple iPhone 6 Plus 44.6 Apple iPad Air 25 GFX 2.7 T-Rex (onscreen) Higher is better NVIDIA Shield Tablet 54.2 Apple iPad Air 2 53 Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 39.6 Apple iPad Air 21 GFX 3.0 Manhattan (1080p offscreen) Higher is better Apple iPad Air 2 32.7 NVIDIA Shield Tablet 31 Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 27.3 Apple iPhone 6 Plus 18.6 GFX 3.0 Manhattan (onscreen) Higher is better NVIDIA Shield Tablet 27.6 Apple iPad Air 2 24.7 Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 19.8 The Nvidia Shield Tablet was only able to beat the Apple iPad Air 2 on the onscreen tests as its screen resolution is 1080p. More importantly the iPad Air 2 achieved superb framerates in all but the onscreen Manhattan test - easily above the 30fps threshold. We're eagerly waiting to see how much better the 64-bit Tegra K1 will be than the 32-bit one in the Shield Tablet and Mi Pad 7.9. As it happens GFXBench lists a Nexus 9 unit (the HTC-made Google tablet with the 64-bit Tegra K1) with scores in both T-Rex and Manhattan but there's nothing in the Info screen to indicate this is legitimately the Nexus 9. Naturally we will be doing our own testing on the iPad Air 2 and Nexus 9 once we get our hands on them. Thanks, Philo for the...


An updated flavor of HTC One (M8) with a 13MP dual camera setup on the back was recently launched in China and India. The phone is called HTC One (M8 Eye) and is otherwise absolutely identical with the original HTC One (M8). HTC's UltraPixel technology was always criticized for sacrificing good light performance to achieve a small gain in low-light shots. In addition to the low-res shots, the 4MP sensor also limits the video recording capabilities to just 1080p (4K requires at least 8MP 16:9 sensor). It seems HTC is experimenting other possibilities with the HTC One (M8 Eye), but unfortunately the EU citizens won't be able to try this new option. HTC One (M8 Eye) is already available in China and India, but now we know we won't be seeing it in Europe. HTC Product Manager confirmed the One (M8 Eye) was designed for a limited market reach and especially for India. He also specified the original HTC One (M8) is still company's holiday flagship, even though there are new handsets like the selfie-centric HTC Desire Eye. Well, there you have it. If you hope for a better HTC One (M8) for the holiday season - you can't have it unless you live in India or China. By the way, the same HTC Product Manager shared that HTC Dot View case is company's most successful accessory ever and we'll be definitely seeing more of it in the future...


Motorola Droid Turbo for Verizon Wireless made yet another unscheduled appearance. This time around, the soon to be revealed Android powerhouse showed up in number of live photos. In line with past leaks, the images showcase the upcoming device in black color scheme. The photos also confirm the handset's specs. Speaking of specs, they include 5.2-inch QHD (2,560 x 1,440 pixels) display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, 21 MP rear camera with dual-LED flash, and huge 3,900 mAh battery. The handset will run Android 4.4.4 KitKat when it launches. Motorola Droid Turbo will launch in less than a week, on October 28. We will be covering the event live, so be sure to tune in for the full scoop on the smartphone....


Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Developer Edition quietly appeared on the manufacturer's website in the United States. The developer-friendly flagship phablet is headed to Verizon Wireless in the near future. Curiously, the Developer Edition is cheaper than the regular Samsung Galaxy Note 4 at full price with no contact. The version with unlockable bootloader is listed for the highly acceptable $663.53, whereas the regular model is listed at $699.99 at Verizon. The price difference is even more dramatic with the AT&T version, which costs $825.99 with no commitment. In short, the Developer Edition for Verizon is the pick of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 range in the United States. There is no word if Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Developer Edition will be available to carriers other than Verizon in the United States. Chances are that it will stay exclusive to the Big Red. Source |...


At an event in Paris today, Archos officially announced the 50 Diamond. This is actually quite a high-end phone for the French company that usually focuses on extremely cheap devices. The Archos 50 Diamond comes with a 5-inch 1080p IPS touchscreen, a 16 MP rear camera with LED flash, and an 8 MP front snapper. Powering things up is a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chipset with an octa-core CPU sporting four Cortex-A53 cores that can go up to 1.7 GHz and another four of those that are only clocked at 1 GHz. 2GB of RAM are in, and the built-in storage space is 16GB, yet there's also a microSD card slot for adding capacity. The phone supports Cat.4 LTE (150Mbps theoretical peak download speed, 50Mbps up), and it has dual-SIM functionality (dual-active). Its battery capacity is 2,700 mAh, its dimensions are 146 x 70.4 x 8 mm, and it weighs 146g. It runs Android 4.4.4 KitKat. Perhaps the most interesting detail about this device is its price. The Archos 50 Diamond will retail for €199, which is a decent amount given the specs here and the LTE connectivity. Unfortunately though, the 50 Diamond will only make it to the market in early 2015. Source 1 (in French) • Source...


Last month Gigabyte introduced a lot of new Android smartphones, but it looks like there's going to be a new Mika model to complement the GSmart Mika M2 in the company's portfolio. This is the Gigabyte GSmart Mika M3, which has just become official at a special event in Greece, during which the other, already announced devices were present too. Gigabyte GSmart Mika M3 The Mika M3 comes with a 5-inch 720p IPS touchscreen, a 13 MP rear camera with LED flash, and an 8 MP front snapper. It's powered by a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, aided by 1GB of RAM. Internal storage is 8GB, expandable via microSD. Keeping things running is a 1,900 mAh battery. In terms of connectivity, the handset tops out at HSPA+, so don't expect 4G support. There is, however, dual-SIM functionality built in. The Mika M3 runs Android 4.4 KitKat, it weighs 146g, and its dimensions are 144 x 70.5 x 8.3 mm. The Gigabyte GSmart Mika M3 should become available (at least in Greece) before the end of the year. Compared to the Mika M2, it has a smaller battery, but higher-res front-facing camera. Source (in...

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